ANYONE who has built a snowman is aware of the wrong type of snow – but have you heard of the wrong type of rain?

According to river experts in Chesham, the heavy downfalls which have hit the district in recent days are not quite as beneficial as you might assume.

Last week a month’s rain fell in one day, but due to the heavy nature of the rain and the time of year it is has meant it is not proving as helpful as it could.

River Chess Association secretary Kathyrn Graves said: “Obviously it’s great to see the rain, but unfortunately we’d rather have it in winter to fill our aquifers. With it falling in spring there’s a lot of vegetation which prevents it getting to the aquifers and because it’s so heavy it just runs off the surface – it would be better if it was slower, more consistent rain, which seeped through the surface rather than a heavy burst.”

In the midst of a hosepipe ban, Mrs Graves did have some positive news from the days of rain.

She added: “I’m sure there’ll be some benefit. If it’s raining it means people don’t wash their car or water their plants, which means our reserves are being preserved.”

The association is also pleased with the work it has being doing with Thames Water, which manages Chesham Sewage Treatment Works, to cope with untreated sewage.

Thames Water has been struggling with a system with insufficient storage capacity, resulting in untreated sewage being introduced into the river usually during heavy rain.

The company has now completed the expansion of the storm water overflow storage, doubling its capacity, which will greatly reduce the chances of future discharges.

Association chairman Paul Jennings said: “This development is particularly important at a time when the Chess is suffering from very low flows due to a shortage of water in the subsurface chalk aquifer.

“At these times the river is less able to dilute pollution events. We are very pleased with the way Thames Water has reacted to this problem.”

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